Father’s Day is here! We’ve been celebrating fathers all month long on the blog by featuring scenes with dads (or dadish characters) from MG, YA, and NA books. (And if you haven't guessed, the man in heading picture is my husband, with my two beautiful step-daughters.)
Today fellow Fire and Ice Young Adult Books author, Alice J. Black, visits to share a scene from her mystery novel The Doors. This book is high up on my TBR list, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you enjoy this snippet, you’ll find links to where you can get a copy below.
Oh, and we’re not done yet! We still have four more authors to feature this month, so please keep coming back.
When she is moved halfway down the country during the summer holidays, Amanda finds she's stuck in a place that she not only hates but where it never seems to stop raining. Godfrey Hall, their new home, is a dark, cold place that she can't seem to adjust to. The worst room is the dining room where a set of mosaic doors seems to draw her in despite the fact that she despises it. The first day her parents are both out, Amanda finds out the true secret of the mosaic doors and nothing will stop her opening the shrine made for a man hundreds of years before her.
As she searched through the rest of the first floor, Amanda tried to find something, anything, that she could say she liked. None of it, apart from the beauty of the staircase and the idea of the tree swing, struck her. She was lost in the mansion of a house, swallowed by its immensity and its cold, stark walls.
Regrouping in the kitchen after exploring, Amanda looked at her parents. “So,” she started, resting against the bench in the kitchen. “Which room in this monstrosity is mine?”
“You get the haunted one.” He wiggled his eyebrows.
Laughing, he winked at her. “Go take a look,” her dad offered. “You can pick your own room.”
Amanda straightened. “Seriously?”
“Great, I’m going to check them out.” She hurried from the kitchen, but as she reached the bottom of the stairs and gazed up into the darkness she shouted back, “Where’s the light switch?”
Her dad came through with a smile on his face. “Is my girl still afraid of the dark?”
Amanda pouted. “No, but this place is creepy.”
He chuckled, flicked a switch, and the upper landing filled with dim, yellow light. She wandered up the stairs, fingers trailing on the solid oak bannister as she went, admiring the beauty of the craftsmanship. There were four rooms to choose from, besides the one her parents had already claimed. As she peeked into their room she noticed their ornate bed, still unassembled, sat under a wide window and beside that, countless boxes labelled with her mum’s name. She checked each of the rooms, scrutinizing them, looking for any nooks and crannies–scary places–before finally making her decision.
Strolling into the empty space, she crossed the bare floor, eyes drawn towards the three windows adorning the wall on the opposite side. As she was pulled towards the glass, feet moving mechanically, the tremendous view reared up before her. The sea surged in the distance, dark blue and unrelenting in its force. Waves crashed upon a rocky outcrop just beyond the house, sending up huge, foamy droplets that cascaded onto the grass behind them. Breath-taking. The room itself was modest in size, but her belongings would fit with no problem and the best thing about it was the light that permeated the room. It was so unlike the rest of the house and just perfect for her.
“So, you like this one?” her dad asked, head popping into the room.
Amanda spun, shocked. “I didn’t hear you come up.”
“Did I scare you?”
She shook her head.
“It’s not really haunted, you know.” He winked again. Amanda shot her tongue out. “This room suits you.”
“That’s what I thought. Just can’t wait to get sorted.” Glancing at the empty room, she sighed.
“Come on, I’ll give you a hand.”
“Now? Are you sure?”
“Anything for you.”
Her dad helped her move the furniture into her room despite the lateness of the hour. Amanda felt a trickle of guilt for being difficult as she watched him heave and lug her bed and her wardrobe around until it was just right. Her desk fit snugly to the right of the windows, just beside the wardrobe and her bed took centre stage in the room where she could admire the view. Finally, sweat dripping through his t-shirt, her dad left her to it.
Barnes and Noble
Alice J. Black lives and works in the North East of England where she lives with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! She writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side, but she also likes to challenge herself and write out of her genre too. Dreams and sleep-talking are currently a big source of inspiration and her debut novel, The Doors, is a young adult novel which originally sprouted from a dream several years ago and grew from there.
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.